Santa Clarita Diet star Drew Barrymore stopped by Today, chatting with Savannah Guthrie about how "it's all in the tone" when discussing work with her kids

By Jen Juneau
March 20, 2018 12:57 PM

As someone who has been part of the entertainment industry her entire life, Drew Barrymore knows the value of hard work — and now she’s passing that ideology on to her daughters.

The Santa Clarita Diet star stopped by Today on Tuesday to promote season 2 of her Netflix dark comedy, and she dished to Savannah Guthrie about how she explains her career with daughters Frankie, 4 next month, and Olive, 5.

“It’s all in the tone,” says Barrymore, 43. “I had an enlightened conversation with a girlfriend 10 years ago, and she made me aware, in a few sentences, and then I emulated it for myself in this modern time of my life.”

Drew Barrymore and daughter Frankie Barrymore Kopelman
| Credit: Gary Gershoff/WireImage

“Which is if you say, ‘I have to go to work, but you know what? I’ll be back soon,’ to a child, that’s like work is the bad man taking you away from them,” she explains. “And also work is just a yucky, negative thing.”

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“Instead, I’m like, ‘I am going to my awesome job and I love it, but I will be right back,’ ” says Barrymore. “And I balance so much time spending with them that I think they’ve developed a trust that when I say I’m gonna be back and hang out with them for days on end, they believe it.”

“Work is the road to your dreams,” she adds. “And they’re gonna need to know that, and they’re gonna wanna do something in the world themselves, and so I try to position it as the road to your dreams.”

Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet
| Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix

It sounds like Barrymore has definitely made her career sound like a blast, as she reveals of her daughters, “all they want to do is get onstage.”

“They’ve got the Barrymore gene!” she admits, referencing her family’s acting dynasty. “We went to The Sound of Music, they’re like, ‘I just want up on the stage.’ We go to the Amazing Bubble Show, they’re like, ‘I just want on the stage.’ ”

The star — whose breakthrough role came at age 7 in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. — began acting at is all about supporting her daughters in whatever path they choose, but for now she’s trying to “vicariously live” through their “normalcy” during their childhood.

“That’s where they’re gonna, in the healthiest way, develop who they really know they wanna be,” Barrymore says. “As of today, I would say Olive is a vet and Frankie’s a ballerina.”

Santa Clarita Diet season 2 premieres Friday on Netflix.